Friday, 9 October 2015

By on October 9th, 2015 in relocation, weekly prepping

08:12 – Barbara is off to the gym this morning. She’s finished yard work until more of the leaves come down, so she’ll run some errands that she was putting off during our recent heavy rains. Then we’ll work on science kit stuff.

We started watching Little House on the Prairie yesterday. I’d never seen it, since I was in college and grad school when it started its run. Barbara saw the first season or two before college, and liked it then. It’s set on a farm in rural Minnesota in the 1870’s, and seems to be a good family-oriented introduction to the prepper way of thinking: self-reliance, overcoming challenges, working if you expect to eat, and so on.

Here’s what I did to prep this week:

  • We made a trip up to Sparta, NC to look at houses, and ended up putting in an offer on one of them. If the owners accept our offer, we’re scheduled to close on the house early next month. In that case, we should actually be moved up there by the end of the year, although we’d still be down here in Winston a lot to get the present house ready to go on the market.
  • I ordered more open-pollinated seeds for the heirloom seed kits and started a culture of mixed species of Rhizobia spp., a nitrogen-fixing bacteria that can increase legume yields by an order of magnitude. I’ll use that culture to produce a shelf-stable suspension in phosphate-buffered saline, which can then be reactivated simply by reculturing it in a dilute mixture of table sugar and beef or chicken broth.

So, what precisely did you do to prepare this week? Tell me about it in the comments.

21 Comments and discussion on "Friday, 9 October 2015"

  1. nick says:

    Continued selling unneeded crap.

    Got the second footing for the grape arbor poured.

    Put 2 vines in the newly amended soil of one raised bed, had 2 others wither away, and something stole my fist sized pumpkin. Failed to cut back the basil in time, so it bolted. Trying to save some by drying. It won’t be as good as if I’d picked it at the correct time though. String beans are well sprouted and growing quickly.

    Continue watching the BBC historic Farm series. Last night, the farmwife preserved fish by smoking, and preserved cooked shrimp by ‘potting’, which means put in jars and covered with fat to seal out the air. I never thought about the origin of the phrase “potted meat”. I assumed it was just another way of saying ‘preserved in a can”, but it’s not. It’s another process. I think I should find a good reference and add it to the library.

    Bought a cutter called the “Super Vizor” at Fry’s Electronics.

    It’s a seatbelt cutter and window breaker, meant to strap to your sun visor. Wicked sharp, small, neat holster. I’ve put it on my truck first aid bag. It’s smaller and less cheesy looking than the hammers. I’m not gonna break any windows to test it. At $12 it might be worth having on your bag….

    In the grander scheme of things FEMA released their updated National Preparedness Goal, which incorporates “critical edits identified through real world events, lessons learned and implementation of the Nation Preparedness System.” If you want to learn more about what .gov is doing, and thinks you should do, start here:

    If nothing else you get an advanced degree in corporate speak and buzzword bingo.


  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    My take on FEMA is that most of the guys on the ground are competent, hard-working, and want to get the job done. Those guys are hamstrung by their management dweebs, who are typical bureaucrats.

  3. nick says:

    Here’s an example of the prose:

    Provide timely, accurate, and actionable information resulting from the planning direction, collection, exploitation, processing, analysis, production, dissemination, evaluation, and feedback of available information concerning threats to the United States, its people, property, or interests; the development, proliferation, or use of WMDs; or any other matter bearing on US national or homeland security by local state tribal territorial, Federal, and other stakeholders. Information sharing is the ability to exchange intelligence, information, data, or knowledge among government or private sector entities, as appropriate.

    It’s actually readable and parsable if you spend the time….

    Whether it MEANS anything, well….


  4. nick says:

    Every single sentence has made at least one or two trips thru the ‘phrase expander.’


  5. Ray Thompson says:

    The people that write that stuff get paid by the word.

  6. Miles_Teg says:

    “The people that write that stuff get paid by the word.”

    Nah, if that were so they would have spelled out WMD.

  7. dkreck says:

    Looks like they get paid by the comma.

    The disheartening part is they get paid at all.

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’d sooner depend on town/county emergency management, which I intend to get involved with as a volunteer once we relocate.

  9. brad says:

    Reminds me of my first assignment in the USAF, in software procurement. The project documentation was delivered with a forklift, on a palette. It weighed in at 1-1/2 tons.

    Actually, that has been hugely beneficial, because I tell the story to every incoming class, to emphasize the second principle of the Agile Manifesto: working software is more important than comprehensive documentation.

    Of course, the USAF got both, but the price tag, geez. Still, that was on the F-15 program, which was a bargain compared to the F-35. Even then, the fighter jocks were trying to eliminate the A-10 by pretending that the F-15E could replace it. It would be funny to watch the same stupid show with the F-35B, if it weren’t sad. As if they’re going to send in a $250 million plane low and slow, to support the grunts.

    Vaguely on the same subject, I’m watching the Russian intervention in Syria with interest. The US pretends it can affect things by launching Hellfires; I expect Russia knows better, and will be sending in ground troops soon. Meanwhile, the US plans to spend another $600 million equipping terrorists. Sure, that’s not what they say, but that’s where the stuff winds up. Idiots.

  10. Miles_Teg says:

    Ever seen an IBM software manual, with many pages “intentionally left blank”?

    The think I liked about Control Data Cyber and NOS/BE manuals was that I only needed about 10-15 on my shelf to do 99% of my job. When we turfed our Cybers (may peace and blessings be upon them) in favour of IBM big iron we had litterally compactors full of manuals. I hated IBM and MVS. No wonder IBM was/is one of the biggest publishers in the world. Lots of huge OSes with vast numbers of manuals for each.

  11. OFD says:

    I have the Red Cross first responder/CPR First Aid cert, good for a couple of years, maybe three. I’d take any EMT cert courses they have, seemingly at random every year, but kinda expensive and inconvenient both. I also have the FRS/GMRS/MURS license and am locating and configuring a Midland and some kind of antenna infrastructure for it as I do the research. And I got a Fed Curio and Relic license, kinda prepping for the full Class III FFL in the next few months.

    I need to locate and contact the local town/county emergency management organizations and see if I can pitch in somehow; ditto with the local Legion post, gun range and an RC parish we’re comfortable with; why that last, you ask? Because our regular priest, who was heavy on the conservative liturgies and the Latin mass got promoted to Parochial Vicar for the diocese and now does the only Latin mass in the state thirty miles south of here at the co-cathedral. Which we’ll go to once or twice a month, at least, and meanwhile gotta find something closer. The regular parish has reverted to the Novus Ordo and Father Lively and Father Bozo, all a grand time of fun and laughs and happy chit. Amazing they kept the traditional music and the internationally recognized organist. That will probably get dumped when he’s too old to do it anymore and he’s almost there now. Most contemporary RC Murkan derps are just happy little piglets who think they’re all going to Heaven anyway and Jesus is our friend. They also vote, largely in concert with the bishops, solid libturd Dem. Wife is a cradle Catholic of Irish background and I’m a pissed-off Anglican convert to the Church of twenty years now.

    Let’s see, what else? Oh yeah. Did some real-time on-site intel gathering down in Boston and on the way out, confirming my previous observations and opinions. If SHTF hard enough and peeps are fleeing the cities, I hope they don’t plan on using the main drags out, like the MassPike, and Routes 9, 3, and 93, or 128, in and around the Greater Boston Metro Stat Area. We left via the Pike during the Thursday rush hour and it was either stock-still, or bumper-to-bumper at 5 MPH all the way out to Newton. Looking at the satellite traffic imagery overhead it was mostly red-lined all over the area. Now picture panicked hordes bailing all at the same time. The three-day-just-in-time food deliveries, etc. Moral: Don’t be anywhere near a city or, God forbid, live and work in one.

    And if Marshall Law (don’t laff; that’s how it’s spelled today in a prepper email I just got from a well-known site) goes into effect, civvie movement will be sharply curtailed with checkpoints and armed troops all over the place. Your papers, please?

    (naturally illegals and statist nabobs will be exempt)

    On software manuals: DEC had a two-shelf bookshelf of fat orange binders covering everything to do with VAX/VMS, later gray. OFD studied them during the night shifts in his last year of working The Job and then nailed a temp operator gig which went full-time. Stayed there a year and then moved on directly to DEC itself for a couple of years. Now we can just dial up the man pages, amirite? Or better yet, google it!

    Steady rain all day here, brilliant colors in northern MA and in NH, and now just getting going up this way.

  12. Lynn says:

    Bought more 35 bottle Ozarka water cases and AA batteries. Back up above 50 cases. Ignored the wife’s disparaging comments about having enough water for the zombie apocalypse.

  13. nick says:

    ” having enough water for the zombie apocalypse.”

    Well, that is the goal…


  14. SteveF says:

    Ignored the wife

    That’s my policy.

  15. Lynn says:

    ” having enough water for the zombie apocalypse.”

    Well, that is the goal…

    The official story is hurricane prepping but she figured that out quick enough. Especially since hurricane season is just about over. I made the mistake of explaining MZBs to her though. After 33 years of marriage, she thinks that she is safe.

    MZBs = mutant zombie bikers

  16. OFD says:

    “MZBs = mutant zombie bikers”

    A staple of various Grade D crime-action thriller-dillers years ago. In truth, they’d go for targets worth taking and also be taking a big chance in this country on getting shot to shit like the James-Younger gang got when they did their infamous Northfield, MN raid. “Aw, it’s just a buncha damn squareheads up there…”

    “That’s my policy.”

    I can use my allegedly bad hearing for many such events around here, with hearing aids on the way from the VA soon. You’re too young to pull that off, sonny, but you is hardcore anyway, so no worries.

    Mine just asked me again if I really believe all that terrible shit-rain is gonna come a knockin’ at some point and I just blew it off rather than get into answering an obvious loaded question like that. You learn some things as you git older and decrepit. I keep using the deep dark freeze of a howling winter with no power, and I inform her accordingly of any recent B&E’s and drug busts in the AO here.

  17. Lynn says:

    I still think that we are going to slide gently into that soft dystopia over the next 10 to 20 years. This upstream oil and gas economizing and the continuing automation of jobs is slowly taking away our jobs in the USA.

    But a bad actor outside the USA does make me a little nervous. Does Putin ever wonder how many nukes he can set off in LEO over Kansas? Shoot, Obola might even like the apocalypse.

  18. OFD says:

    @Mr. Lynn;

    My worry is that there could be some kinda “perfect storm” thang, like two or three major disruptive events all at once. What if some lousy scum hacker somewhere manages to shut down a major part of the Grid for a week or longer and during that same week there’s another huge hurricane pounding the Atlantic and/or Gulf coasts? While our troops are tied up with lousy gear in some foreign cesspool overseas. Or either of those first two scenarios and a gigantic financial crash, which spreads globally.

    Otherwise I’d sorta go along with your and RBT’s vision of a slow messy slide lasting many years.

  19. nick says:


    My dad had mediocre results with his VA hearing aids. The ones from Costco were life changing for him. Unfortunately, he pays 100% at costco (less the 1% back and the cash back on the card.)

    One other thing to look at, Illinois has a tax break for the hearing impaired. When my dad found out about it, he was eligible for a refund going back years. Don’t miss out, ask!

    I’m thinking market crash, prolonged recession, massive repression, then war. Leaving off any of the biggie surprises….


  20. nick says:

    Did manage to get a few things done. Got some home maintenance done, some cleanup, (crack sealing in the driveway.) Got some stuff moved to my new shelves. Still got a crap-tonne to move and list on ebay. Sold a few smalls on ebay.

    While going thru the truck, found a couple of other sale items. Bushnell spotting scope, new in box, $30, Gun Vault, $5 (no key, had to figure out how to crack it, one tiny hole, since filled with a bolt, works great now); rod and reel, $5; much heavier browning reel, $5; 4 pack of FreezPak blue ice, $4.

    Got some of the Halloween stuff down from the attic and set up. Just some preliminary stuff. The main displays won’t go up until just before the 31st, and some stuff, with all the lights and fog, won’t go up until the day.

    Hope I get a few more things done tomorrow. Today was HOT HOT HOT.


  21. OFD says:

    ” When my dad found out about it, he was eligible for a refund going back years. Don’t miss out, ask!”

    Thanks for the tip; I’ll look into it; Mrs. OFD is nearly legally blind and probably needs eye surgery; I’ve got a hearing loss in both ears thanks to gee, I can’t imagine what…maybe guns and explosives? Rock concerts? But I gotta admit, it comes in handy sometimes here…

    “I’m thinking market crash, prolonged recession, massive repression, then war.”

    I sorta think we’ll have major economic/financial troubles, Grid outages for whatever reason, rising social/political/ethnic/racial tensions, unrest, violence and statist repression, followed by eventual breakdown and probable multiple civil wars going on all at once around the country. This could take place over the next couple of decades or get sped up by “perfect storm” events and start running faster over the next five years. The Empire is heading toward a crack-up.

    Today was a typical summah day here, only in mid-October. Breeze off the lake, temp around 65-70, sun and blue skies, with orange, red and yellow all around us. We spent most of the day scouring the living room, dining room, and refrigerator/freezer, all of which we hope to finish tomorrow. Then I can do the basement freezer, hang up kayaks and canoes, and start the flooring in the attic and my workshop/radio shack up there, and shelving/storage in the cellar.

    Wife’s pay is late again and we’re down to a buck and some change, with several major bills overdue, but by Jeezum the IRS got its money on the first. We won’t starve and we got wood, water, food, meds, books, radios, and pooters.

    Started watching “The Civil War in Color” on the History Channel a little while ago and then shut it off; the usual angst-ridden apologia by Unionist agitprop academics, the war being fought exclusively to end slavery, of course. And what the late Gore Vidal called the “Lincoln acolytes.”

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